SANJA DRLJAČA, B.A. Conductor, Musical Director 2, Expert in Orthodox Christian Music

Sanja completed the Conservatorium of Music in Sarajevo, ex-Yugoslavia.

A distinguished music teacher, she started her career as a teacher of accordion, piano and choral singing in four primary and secondary music schools, and became the first accordion teacher in the Secondary Music School in Sarajevo. During this period Sanja composed and wrote songs for children, winning twice the first prize at children’s music festivals.

The pinnacle of her career, before the war began, was her appointment as the conductor of the women’s vocal octet ‘Collegium Artisticum’ of Sarajevo, as part of the Sarajevo Winter Festival following the 1984 Winter Olympics. She toured extensively with the octet throughout Europe and ex-Yugoslavia and recorded songs for the film ‘My brother Aleksa’ in 1991.

Sanja left Bosnia as a refugee in 1993, and post-war she led many choirs: in Germany the church choir of St. Luke the Apostle, in Melbourne a children’s choir at Serbian Orthodox Church ‘St. Stephen the Archdeacon’, where she has been the conductor of the church choir ‘Kornelije Stanković’ since its founding in 2000.

In 2004, Sanja took the choir ‘Lazarica’ from St Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Church in Alexandria (Sydney) on touring in Serbia. It was the first visit to Serbia by a community choir from Australia.

In February 2000, Sanja cofounded the community female choir ‘Balkan Voices’, which over the years transformed into the mixed choir that we know today as Serbian Choral Society.

Sanja conducted choir workshops at The Boite Singers’ Festival in 2008 and 2009.

For her outstanding voluntary contribution to the Serbian community of Victoria, Sanja received the Victorian Government’s prestigious Multicultural Awards for Excellence – the Meritorious Service to the Community Award in 2014.

Sanja formed the Octet Mokranjac in 2019, especially to contribute to the program of the WE ARE THE WORLD! Bring a bell! Concert 2019 by presenting the lithurgical  compositions of Stevan Mokranjac and one of his classical compositions which utilise Serbian traditional music.

Sanja continues her professional career as a music educator in Australia through her music school ‘Collegium Artisticum’ in Dandenong (Melbourne), where she teaches performance on various musical instruments to AMEB grade students.